Boats - The Floating Palaces
Floating on a picture perfect lake or
moored by the edge of Srinagar's lakes, Kashmir's famous houseboats is the
way to see how this place earned the name, "The Venice of the East".
The silent atmosphere, breathtaking view and homely comfort gives freshness
and renewed energy to any exhausted traveler. The Dal
Lake is famous for the comfortable houseboats as well as the Shikaras.
Each houseboat has anything between two and four bedrooms in it with
attached bathrooms and a common sitting and dining room. The charges of a
houseboat always include all meals and a certain number of crossings by
shikara to and from the houseboat.
Water - powered peddlers sell
everything from saffron to paper mache deer to the houseboat door. Ride a
Shikara - a Kashmiri gondola - to the watery vegetable markets and see the
mountains mirrored in the lakes.
The wonderful houseboat provide
the homely comfort, food of your taste and has many options open to your
choice such as a shikara ride, sunbathing on the houseboats top-deck,
shopping, trekking, relaxing, reading and just being served whatever
desired. This unique Kashmiri tradition of gracious
waterside living originated with the first British residents of Kashmir.
In order to prevent them from assuming power, the Maharaja of Kashmir
forbade the British to own land; their solution was to build their
residences on water, with the houseboats evolving from modest floating homes
to veritable floating palaces. These hand-built houseboats, boasting all the
amenities of 5-star hotels, are one of Srinagar's stellar attractions.
enchanting residences range from 60 to 150 ft. long, are 15 to 20 ft. wide
and each is unique. There are spacious four-bedroom boats and cozy
two-bedrooms; all feature attached bathrooms, electricity and modern
plumbing. The cedar interiors are intricately carved and display the
consummate artistry of Kashmiri craftsmen. The furnishings include
embroidered native rugs and fabrics, local objects d'art, and solidly
comfortable Victorian and Edwardian furniture. These luxurious boats also
feature rooftop sundecks from which to take in the Himalayan views and enjoy
the brisk fresh air.A houseboat holiday is also an
unusual gourmet experience.
Our chefs will prepare the finest
Kashmiri dishes, including barbecued lamb kabobs marinated in fragrant
herbs), Rista (juicy, delicately seasoned lamb meatballs), Tabaq maz, fresh
saffron rice and Goshtaba, dishes typically prepared only as part of the
special Wazwan celebrations. Our chef will also prepare Western style meals
to order. Every meal is a festive occasion with the finest local dishes
served in classic British style - on linen and lace, with silver and china.
Sit back and enjoy desert, firni(a special dessert pudding made of rice,
raisins, nuts, saffron and milk) and a pot of Kahwa (our local green tea).